Properly hanging window treatments just might be one of the easiest and most clever ways to add extra height, dimension and light to a room. The key word here being “PROPERLY!” We are so happy that designer Kristie Barnett has graciously taken time out of her very busy schedule to educate us on this very important subject! Get your pen and paper out, as this article is noteworthy. Trust us, your windows will thank you!
BACKGROUND: Kristie Barnett (aka, The Decorologist) is a Color & Design Expert, Design Blogger, and Home Stager. She is also a feature writer for The Tennessean andHouzz.com, and conducts design workshops in the Nashville area. Kristie believes that home should be a safe haven and sanctuary and teaches her clients to define their personal style, gain confidence in their choices, and express themselves through the decoration of home.
How to Properly Hang Window Treatments
Things have changed in the land of window treatments over the last few decades. Not just in terms of style, but also how we hang them to best effect. An updated, beautiful window treatment complements the window without overpowering it. And the best way to do that is to hang the window treatment so that it doesn’t completely cover the window. Even though there may be need for light control and privacy, window treatments needn’t cover up the window completely.
The right window treatment softens the window and can add color, texture, and/or pattern. But it shouldn’t draw attention to itself exactly – it should draw attention to the architecture and the view beyond the window. In this space, we decided to choose a window treatment that simply finished off the room without adding additional color or pattern. We also could have chosen a similar treatment that read a shade lighter or darker than the wall color.
Now notice how the curtain panels are hung. When there is space to do so, it always makes a window look larger and more significant if you can mount the rod well above the window.
Whether or not you can do that, you should also try to mount the rods well outside the window rather than right on top of it. That way when the curtain is open, you get maximum natural light into the room. This not only makes your windows look much larger, but it also makes the entire room appear larger. This is an illustration I often use to demonstrate to my clients how to hang curtains:
You can see how much bigger the window appears in the “do” illustration. Mounting the panels where they sit outside the window may nearly double the impression of the window’s size. You’ll have to think ahead – purchase a rod that is 20-30 inches longer than the window so that your panels can sit 10-15 inches on the walls on either side of the window when open.
Here is a “before” of my daughter’s room with only one small window. Because I wanted to make the window feel and act bigger than it was, we hung window panels the same color as the wall as far up and out as possible.
Can you imagine how small and dark the room would look if the window treatment sat directly on top of the window? Believe me, the room looks about twice as large as it did before.
Hanging window treatments strategically can help balance the architecture of a room. Here’s a “before” of a room with a large window next to a french door that leads outside. My clients were perplexed as to best dress out the window.
I showed them how uniting the window and french doors with a single window treatment could make all the difference. Simple but strategically-placed window treatments created balance and harmony in this room without blocking light.
For light control, you may choose to use white wood blinds or cellular shades beneath the panels. I love to layer panels with textured bamboo or matchstick blinds, or natural woven shades. It’s a great way to cozy up a room with an organic material.
Even then, you can hang your matchstick blinds or roman shades high above the window to create the illusion of taller windows, which in turn makes the ceiling appear higher and the room more grand.
Would you like to hear some really shocking advice for window treatments? Carefully consider whether or not you truly need a window treatment at all. If you have attractive window trim, beautiful views, or no significant light or privacy issues, maybe the right thing to do for the space is no window treatment at all.
(Photography by Melanie G Photography)
For more decorating advice and interior inspiration, visit me at www.thedecorologist.com ANYTIME!
Thank you, Kristie, for such an informative article! We love your ideas and examples. For more information about Kristie and her work, see below!
Nashville Interior Design Blog
(Images: 1-architecturaldigest.com; 2-10-thedecorologist.com; 11-traditionalhome.com; 12-13-housebeautiful.com; 14- thedecorologist.com / melaniegphotography.com)